Children are expensive, there is no way around it.
I was recently in Target and was looking for a checkout line. Typically I go for the shortest one, especially when I have my one year old with me, but this day I noticed another mom buying a bunch of stuff for her baby who was with her and looked about the same age as my son. I took a quick glance at all the things she was placing on the belt and realized we only purchase ONE of the about 20 things she had which were wipes, and we only purchase those for travel. I had to see how much she spent, I mean come on, I deserved at least a new pair of heels if it was a lot, I was technically saving what she was spending!
I watched as she loaded the belt with diapers, jarred baby food, wipes, booger wipes (I had never heard or seen these??) medicine, puffs, juice, travel pouches of baby food and more that I could not even see. I do assure you, 95% of her purchases were for the baby and seemed to be about a weeks worth. I was amazed, AMAZED when I heard her total………$144!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FOUR DOLLARS people, does typing it out make it seem even more extreme? I just could not believe we were saving that much money once a week, maybe twice a month!
So I thought I would really like to share some of the things we do (and I say we because most are very time consuming and you do need a spouse or partner to help with, it takes a village right?)
1. We cloth diaper, I could write a whole blog on cloth diapering and intend to in the future but plain and simple, it saves a crap ton of money. My husband and I have very different views but cloth diapering is one thing we did not waiver on. I cloth diaper because it saves money, he cloth diapers because it saves trees. But folks, we save so much money. Yes, it is time consuming, it is gross and smelly and it takes organization. If you can’t handle any of these things it’s not for you but if you can switch, and watch the money flow like wine! The upfront costs are high, we spent about $250-$300 on cloth diapers. But once they are purchased you are done! Even for future babies as long as you don’t have 2 in diapers! Our water and electric bill went up a bit but not nearly as much as I thought, about $30 a month total. Compare that to the cost of diapers??? Yeah that’s a win.
2. I breastfed for the first 6 months, no solids at all, no formula. Now I know, not all women are blessed with the ability to breastfeed but miraculously my little angel latched on like a champ 15 minutes after birth and never looked back. Never. Bought. Formula! I don’t even know how much it costs.
3. Once he started eating I made all his food and still do. When I say I make everything I mean everything. Talk about time consuming! But I can get about 24 oz. of baby food out of a head of kale and 2 pears. Yes, we purchase all organic and as local as possible so we spend about $4 on that. That’s 8 jars of babyfood for $4, FOUR DOLLARS!!!!!! Once again, I have never priced baby food, but I think it’s a bit more than that. Now that my son is one, he eats what we eat and is still breastfed.
3. Homeopathic medicine and essential oils are such a Godsend! Yes, they are expensive but so is the doctor! We use, on a regular basis, tea tree oil in his humidifier, eucalyptus when we notice a runny nose and oregano oil on his feet if he seems congested. 9 times out of 10 he is fine in the morning. A bottle of oregano oil is around $20, yes that is high, but we have put that on his feet more times than I can count and have barely put a dent in that $20 bottle, one visit to the doctor with insurance for us is $25, I think that’s a great deal of savings. (side note, always mix your oils with a neutral oil, we use coconut, get it at Trader Joes, $5 a jar!)
4. As far as wipes, I said above we travel with disposable 7th generation wipes, we also use them for poopy diapers but other than that we just use a good old wash cloth with warm water. We bathe our son every day so he is extremely clean and the harsh wipes do a number on his little bottom. I have separate wash cloths for diaper changes, eating and bath and they go right in with his diapers every night.
So those are the things we do, we didn’t start doing them to save money, we just did because it worked for us. But then I noticed that mom and thought “wow! I need to share some of this information with other moms!” This may not be for you, I understand that, believe me. Some people call us crazy hippies but if you saw my shoe collection and over abundance of silk tops you would not still think that. We just like things simple and easy and this is that for us. I would love to hear how you save money as a parent!! Please share your tips!